Tom Conway reports on The Bees – The Junction, Cambridge, 4 Mar 2007

Artist Visiting Cambridgeshire
Maybe it's just Cambridge, or the rain, or the fact that most of the songs come from an album which hasn't been released yet, but the crowd response to the first half of the Bees' set is a little muted. Forthcoming single Who Cares What the Question Is? is a foot-stomping affair, but its appeal is dampened by unfamiliarity.

Things start to warm up around a version of an old song by 70s Brazilian art-rockers Os Mutantes, then new song Let Love be the Answer, with the vocals turning impassioned, and two trumpets blasting out, Motown-style, with keyboards. It's around now that the groove starts to tighten, and the Bees' awesome eclecticism starts to kick in. Over the next few songs, funk, psychedelia, reggae and jazz all flit through with as much as ease as the band's exchange of instruments between songs. The crowd are now ready for favourites from last album, Free the Bees, and get them. Horsemen rides on a crunching guitar riff, The Russian combines reggae with cossack, and hit single Chicken Payback is the crowd-pleaser, as bizarre and irresistible as ever. Pretty good going for a rainy Sunday night.

Writer: Tom Conway